Thursday, July 20, 2006
What in the world are these #@%§§* people doing in the Middle East?
The best headline I saw today was something like "the war of the madmen." The US, Israel, Iran, and Syria are all insane. They are war-oriented, violence-driven, bullying-type countries. Swatted flies get more respect from these hooligans than defenseless civilians, all who are now trapped in this useless cross-fire and cross-bombing and cross-bloodshed.
And the civilians will continue to be mass-executed while the madmen play their despicable arrogant bullying war games. And evidently some people are avid for this proxy Israeli-Hezbollah war to escalate to some nuclear showdown - which is another word for World War III or genocide.
People are just such #@%§§*!!
(memory from childhood - a person whom today I profoundly despise for her lack of character was teaching me composition. She congratulates me because I unwittingly wrote a composition that started with an idea and then followed a winding path only to return and end the writing with the same initial idea. This was a major composition for the day, a full one page. ;-)
Well there you go.
People are just such #@%§§*!!
Best satirical news article related to the war (wish I could write like this):
Yo, Blair, who calls the shots in this double act?
Douglas Fraser July 19 2006
'Yo, Blair! . . . You see, thing is, what they need to do is get Syria to get Hizbollah to stop doing this s*** and it's over."
Sometimes, George Bush defies satire. His excuse may be that he was struggling to devour a Russian sandwich while discussing with Tony Blair how to handle the Middle East tinderbox as it ignites.
This was into a live microphone at the St Petersburg summit, reducing the highest level, most sensitive international diplomacy to the kind of barely comprehensible grunts you hear from teenage boys in conversation.
The Prime Minister – Mr Yo Blair, as he should now be styled – was a little more coherent, his words and his body language displaying the subservient role he plays in this relationship. Though only a brief insight into the most intriguing double act in 21st-century world power, he gave away far more than he would want.
This was a pitch to put some urgency into Washington's response to the outbreak of hostilities in Lebanon, the Prime Minister testing the waters to see if he could get support for a whizz round Middle East capitals to talk peace. Between bites of sandwich, the President made it clear that Condoleezza Rice, his secretary of state, would be taking on that role. The response, however incoherent, was enough. Blair knows his place, and this week, it is in letting the Americans deal with the Middle East its own way, which appears to mean hanging back until the Israelis have finished taking Hizbollah apart.
Indeed, most weeks it involves letting the US do things its own way. In diplomatic wrangling with other European Union members – the EU once again exposing its weakness in the face of crisis – it was the British and Germans who did what America wanted, cooling down the enthusiasm of other EU members to point at least one finger of blame at Israel for a disproportionate reaction to provocation. Blair stepped out of line with Washington only to recommend a stronger multinational stabilisation presence as a buffer between Israel and its Lebanese-based attackers.
But the most striking element of Blair's and Bush's discussion is their assumption they have any diplomatic credit left in the Arab bank. They are practised at seeing the Israeli point of view, but do they see the Arab one? They would prefer to see no link between Hizbollah's increased confidence and bravado and the war in Iraq. Margaret Beckett, the Foreign Secretary, was yesterday indignant when that link was put to her by a radio interviewer. Nor is there appreciation that Israel's treatment of Palestinians has been highly effective in recruiting for what Tony Blair describes as an "arc of extremism".
In the neat world these leaders occupy, you lean on one national leader and guerilla fighters are reined in. A word from President Assad of Syria, and "this s***" can be stopped, according to George Bush – as if Arab anger at Israel, America and, yes, Britain, could be controlled by an instruction from the presidential palace in Damascus. Islamist extremism is not about power structures and control. It does not respond to diplomatic communiques. Bombings from London to Mumbai do not need to be orchestrated through al-Qaeda. This is an ideology which has taken root, its web continues to spread and it has no need of controls.
Within it, Hizbollah has shown not only that it can be a hero to Arabs in its provocation of Israel, but that it has successfully emerged as a new kind of enemy. A cuckoo in the Lebanese nest, all that Israel can think to do is to strike hard at Lebanon. The Israeli logic, if you can call it that, is that the government of Lebanon, pounded by Israeli bombs, is somehow in a stronger position with which to assert itself against both Hizbollah and its sponsors in Syria.
Lashing out in anger was never the way to win the Middle East, and critical friends of Israel wonder if now could be a turning point at which Israel recognises that years of harsh, trigger-happy responses have got it no closer to lasting peace and security. If either Blair or Bush had credibility in the Arab world, they would be better placed to be that critical friend.